Countdown clocks! Everyone is doing them this year. The idea, I think, is that it’s just not enough to announce something. If you really want to cut through all the clutter, you need to announce that you’re announcing something. Parquet Courts launched one earlier this year to announce the impending release of their new album Wide Awake!. And the Smashing Pumpkins used one to announce their partial classic-lineup reunion tour, even though all the drama around that reunion was already out there in the world long before the clock hit zero. Now two more bands are getting in on the fun.
First up is the messy, ridiculous, great-even-though-lots-of-people-hate-them UK pop group the 1975. The countdown clock on their website — which includes impressionistic piano music and Koyaanisqatsi-style non-sequitur footage — is set to expire in about a month. It’s been just over two years since the band released their last album, the goofy and impressive I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, so it seems like a good bet that we’re looking at a new album announcement.
And then there’s Guns N’ Roses, who also have a countdown clock on their website. This one is set to expire tomorrow, and it’s teasing that “destruction is coming,” so this will clearly have something to do with the band’s classic 1987 debut Appetite For Destruction. According to Blabbermouth, there are rumors that they could be teasing either a deluxe album reissue or a live event that’ll also feature original members Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler, who have been largely or completely absent from the recent reunion tours.
When these clocks run down, can we have a moratorium on countdown clocks? Countdown clocks are dumb. Just announce your thing when you’re ready to announce it.